A. Policy Statement. The University of Denver strives to create and maintain a community in which people are treated with dignity, decency and respect. The environment of the University should be characterized by mutual trust, freedom of inquiry and expression, and the absence of intimidation, oppression and exploitation. People in this community should be able to work and learn in a safe, yet stimulating, atmosphere. The accomplishment of this goal is essential to the academic mission of the University.
Therefore, the University will not tolerate unlawful discrimination or harassment of any kind. Through the procedures which follow and by targeted educational programming, the University will seek to prevent, correct and discipline behavior that violates this Policy.
B. Prohibited Conduct.
a. It is a violation of this Policy to discriminate in the provisions of educational or employment opportunities, benefits or privileges, to create discriminatory work or academic conditions, or to use discriminatory evaluative standards in employment or educational settings if the basis of that discriminatory treatment is, in whole or in part, the person’s race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, or veteran status.
b. Discrimination of these kinds may also be strictly prohibited by a variety of federal, state and local laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and as amended by ADA Amendments Act of 2008; the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008; the Vietnam Era Readjustment Assistance Act; Title 24, Article 34 of the Colorado Revised Statute, and Denver Municipal Ordinance. This Policy is intended to comply with the prohibitions of these anti-discrimination laws.
c. Discrimination in violation of this Policy will be subject to severe sanctions up to and including termination.
2. Sexual Harassment.
a. This Policy prohibits sexual harassment by any faculty, student, staff or agent of the University. Besides disciplinary action under this Policy, the sexual harasser may also suffer criminal and/or civil penalties in a court of law.
b. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature will constitute “sexual harassment” when:
i) Submission to such conduct is either explicitly or implicitly term or condition of an individual’s employment or status in a course, program or University-sponsored activity; or
ii) Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment or educational decisions affecting that individual; or
iii) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic or work performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for working or learning.
3. Consensual Sexual Relationships.
a. The University strongly discourages sexual relationships between a teacher and student or between a supervisor and staff member because such relationships tend to create compromising conflicts of interest, or the appearance of such conflicts.
b. The relationship may give rise to the perception on the part of others that there is favoritism or bias in academic or employment decisions affecting the student or staff member. Moreover, given the uneven balance of power within such relationships, consent by the student or staff member in such cases is suspect and may be viewed by others or, at a later date, by the student or staff member as having been given as the result of coercion or intimidation. The atmosphere created by such appearances of bias, favoritism, intimidation, coercion or exploitation undermines the spirit of trust and mutual respect that is essential to a healthy work and academic environment.
c. As in all cases, the burden of proving sexual harassment (defined in Section I.B.2 above) rests with the accuser. But when charges of harassment are brought by the student or subordinate employee during or subsequent to such a relationship, and the teacher or supervisor claims that the relationship was consented to by the student or employee, the burden will be on the teacher or supervisor to prove that the relationship was consensual and voluntary.
d. As used in this section, the term “teacher” includes a faculty member, or a graduate student, administrator, coach, advisor, counselor, residence staff or program director having supervisory responsibilities for students.
e. Sexual exploitation or sexual harassment of any kind, as described in Section I.B.2. or Section I.B.3., is a violation of the Policy and will be subject to severe sanctions up to and including termination.
a. No hardship, no loss of benefit, and no penalty may be imposed on any student, faculty, or staff as punishment for:
i) filing or responding to a bona fide complaint of
discrimination or harassment;
ii) appearing as a witness in the investigation of a complaint; or
iii) serving as an investigator or as a member of the Equal Opportunity Board.
b. Retaliation or attempted retaliation of this kind is a violation of the Policy and will be subject to severe sanctions up to and including termination.
5. Groundless and malicious complaints. Anyone who abuses the Policy by bringing groundless and malicious complaints of discrimination, harassment or retaliation violates the Policy and will be subject to severe sanction up to and including termination.
The Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Officer and the Equal Opportunity Board shall develop and publish procedures and rules implementing this Policy. Such procedures and rules shall be approved by the Provost and the Vice Chancellor for Business and Financial Affairs.